Saturday, February 20, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ah, now I get it!

Two mice at opposite ends of the cat spectrum are at it in a bar.

Each one is a stanch believer, one that cats are bad, the other that cats can do no wrong.

The pro cat mouse finally brings the argument to an end by saying

"Whatever you say about cats, you got to admit, they have style"

Now, do you get it?

Isn't it lovely!!

Just a look around whats in the news over the last few days really warms the cockles of the heart... its great to be a Sri Lankan in this day and age

Reading an AP release from the UN in Geneva it was good to see our country stand up in support of Tehran's conduct during their recent election citing the achievements they have made in promoting culture, education and health care rights; we Cuba, Venezuela and even Nicaragua

And I am so looking forward to having the internet policed - perhaps I can finally stop getting spamed with sms's wishing me a wonderful future; I really don't need them, really, I can read the writing on the wall just as well as the the other person. What I've garnered so far is that is our Far Eastern friends, all the way from China who are gonna help us with this - they already have a wealth of experience in this area - just ask google, those capitalistic, freedom of speech nonsense promoting whatchama call them's!

Did you know that in Urumqui, the capital of Xinjiang province some chaps are having to drive a 1000km to send an email? I kid you not!! I think its great that the Chinese government is so keen to encourage people to travel - you get to see the country, meet people..... hey, just think of the time you get to spend out of office!!!

The one cloud in my otherwise perfect blue sky was the possibilities of those saffron robed monks gathering the shadow the of the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy... I mean what were they thinking? But thats history because, citing security, the convention has been called off. They should have thought about these things no, after all, the state of emergency was extended was it it not?

And what was the EU thinking when they withdrew the GSP = Trade benefits to SL? Why should they want to nitpick about something so trivial, I mean this is our culture no, we have had kings (from 543BC to 1815) and serfs and might has always been right, so what do they know? You cant argue with 2500 years of culture!

And for all those unpatriotic people out there who complain about illegal detention, worry no more! The IGP announced not one but four new detention centres making public the locations - no one can say GOSL is not transparent!

The UN, and they should I think, distanced themselves from a former staffer who claimed that as many as 40000 died in the last few days of our joyous victory - we won, so forget it, lets look forward to a bright future. Interestingly, and I wonder if this is some subtle ply they added that "While we maintained internal estimates of casualties, circumstances did not permit us to independently verify them on the ground, and therefore we do not have verifiable figures of how many casualties there were,”

Fence sitters!! They should take a page out of that illustrious proud son of the soil, non other than the Defense Secretary who recently stated that he knew for sure that ex presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka was ' “In fact, I know for sure. He was definitely responsible for 5 or 6 cases [of disappearances] where media people were involved,”. No ambiguity there folks!

Think about it people, why else would Sanath be contesting, do you think he would put his cricketing career at risk if he did not believe in these great and wonderful times?!!

In closing let me cite a non resident Sri Lankan who penned a letter confirming that Sri Lanka is not in turmoil. Mark his words dear reader - who better knows how things are than those of us who live abroad and yearn to be back home in that paradise isle of ours...

Monday, February 15, 2010

The heat is on...

Its not just in SL that things are hotting up, Burkina is making the transition to the hot season - this fortunately is a natural event...

It's starting warm up, nights are in the low thirties, dropping into the high 20's towards dawn..

Boiled eggs with a little pepper and chillies, a popular snack/ meal on the streets of Ouaga

This huge monument Lat: 12°18'43.43"N Lon: 1°30'9.31"W) built to celebrate heroes . It lies in the new 'Ouaga 2000' development, the newly created enclave for the elite - including the Presidential Palace ( Lat" 12°17'26.28"N Lon: 1°30'9.84"W). Its an impressive structure, but saddening that when so many people live on a mere $ a day, there is money enough to spend on things like this.

One of Burkina's secrets, available for just a few weeks in January and February. At Rs 360 a kilo, you can imagine that I'm eating a lot of them these days!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Is it too much to ask for?

One thing I've noticed and I find this quite fascinating is the argument that worse things happened in the past.

This is certainly a twist to that 'in the good old days' line that old uncles and aunties, grand ma's and pa's use when taking a walk down memory lane reminiscing about times gone by to their grandchildren!

Perhaps I'm naive, I might be, but its my thinking that we should know better now than we did, that we learn by what we did, that knowing our history we avoid repeating the same mistakes.

But then, WWI was referred to as the War to End All Wars wasn't it, and yet a mere 21 yrs later the word was at it again...

In our recent past we've seen our nations resources squandered, our men and women slave away in the Middle East - which in turn has changed the social fabric of this country - a 30yr conflict, insurgency, people shot, maimed, blown up, kidnapped, tortured, families wiped out, driven insane... our economy has surged, slumped, sunk, queues for bread, for rice, for fuel, we've seen beggar's become kings, tri shaw drivers become Mayors, some have earned their wealth, others stole it, some did it legally, others did it somehow, we've seen Buddhist monks march in protest, amass wealth, sit in Parliament, been spat at, beaten, shot - not for their religious beliefs but for their political ones mind you - what have we not?

What do I think? I think we should know better by now, I think we should be able to look back at our past and say enough, we will not repeat the mistakes. Is there really no place for compassion and kindness and integrity and honesty in this day and age of ours? Are we not better people to know that just because someone else did this or that, it does not make it any righter for us to follow suit in retaliation?

That there were 'Cat's of varying hue in the past is no justification for the presence of White vans today, barb wire in pvc pipes, corpses strewn across the streets strung up against lamp posts, nothing not then not now not tomorrow can justify any of that!

What do we really want? To prosper, to see our children grow up in a land that offers them so much more than it did us... A house to live in to call my own, enough to feed, cloth , educate, shelter my children, to be able to walk from North to South, from East to West without fear, to know that this is our land and that I am protected by my government, the government that we elected to give us a better today and tomorrow, a government that protects me, my right to a better life, my right to express my views and thoughts freely.

Is this too much to ask for?

Perhaps this is a good time to quote par of Lincoln's Gettysburg address, for many have died in in this island nation of ours, in wars between kings, against foreign invaders, for independence, in uprising, in suppression, blood split, families destroyed... a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth

This is not about the color of one's political affiliation or sympathies, this is about what is right and what is wrong... might is not right if the cause is unjust, its still wrong to steal, now matter if you call it a facilitation fee, or grease or whatever, its wrong to abuse your power for personal gain, it is and I dont think anyone can say otherwise

Where would we be, honestly, where would we be if the people we elected actually conducted themselves in a fair and just manner, putting country ahead of personal wishes or gain?

Less beggar's for sure.... and perhaps not so many nobles

The silence, is deafening

First they came for the Jews

and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists

and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists

and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me

and there was no one left to speak out for me.

German theologian, Martin Niem”ller

Its interesting to note that Niem''ller was at the start a conservative and a supporter of Hitler. A navel officer, he initially welcomed Hitler's accession to power in 1939, believing that it would bring about a sense of national revival.

While in prison, having been tried for 'activities against the State" he was once asked why he had supported the Nazi Party. His response:

"I find myself wondering about that too. I wonder about it as much as I regret it. Still, it is true that Hitler betrayed me. I had an audience with him, as a representative of the Protestant Church, shortly before he became Chancellor, in 1932. Hitler promised me on his word of honor, to protect the Church, and not to issue any anti-Church laws. He also agreed not to allow pogroms against the Jews, assuring me as follows: "There will be restrictions against the Jews, but there will be no ghettos, no pogroms, in Germany."

I really believed, given the widespread anti-Semitism in Germany, at that time—that Jews should avoid aspiring to Government positions or seats in the Reichstag. There were many Jews, especially among the Zionists, who took a similar stand. Hitler's assurance satisfied me at the time. On the other hand, I hated the growing atheistic movement, which was fostered and promoted by the Social Democrats and the Communists. Their hostility toward the Church made me pin my hopes on Hitler for a while.

I am paying for that mistake now; and not me alone, but thousands of other persons like me."

Strange how history keeps repeating itself....

Sunday, February 7, 2010


The Harmattan is the dry West African winds that blow from the Sahara between November and March.

Dry AND dusty, these winds can blot the entire sky out for days, turning sun light into a blinding haze. The dust seeps in everywhere, clothes inside the house and car.... irritating the throat and lungs, making life less than fun... but the winds also ensure a coolness that will be missed with the advert of the hot season when temperatures will soar to the mid 40's!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

President for a day.... have your say

Picked this up off the BBC's Network Africa - which gives everyday Africans an oppertunity to broadcast their inaugural speech as 'President for a Day'

With no futher ado then, here's mine
"Its with humility I accept this responsibility that you the citizens of Suba Anagatheyak have placed upon me in electing me to this position and in doing so I am fully aware of the obligation I have to fulfill your dreams and aspirations to make this beautiful land of ours a better place and a true paradise

No one man can bring us into the light, rather it is as one that we will lift ourselves out of the darkness into a tomorrow that will see our children grow free of fear, in a land of opportunity.

There is much to be done, we cannot think for even a moment that all will now be well, we have merely taken the first of many steps required for us to go forward.

With your support, with your help, together, as Suba Anagatheyan's we will succeed.

We will start by focusing on increasing the government's income, reducing expenditure, rationalizing our government to ensure that there is no overlap of functionality and responsibility. All the members of this government and the people who work for it will be held responsible and accountable for their actions.

Our tolarance for corruption will be zero, and with this goal ahead of us, it will be mandotary for all senior public servants, Members of Parliament, members of this cabinet and their immediate families to declare their assets, with no exception

Steps will be taken to free the Judiciary to act independently in ensuring that this country will progress within the framework of our constitution, free of any interference In time to come, every institution that makes up the backbone of this nation will be held accountable to act in an independent and fair manner while discharging their responsibility to all citizens.

Developing our agricultural sector, education, health and power will take priority, as will ensuring freedom of speech and allowing an independent media

All Suba Anagathyans will have the right to fair and equal treatment irrespective of ideology, ethnicity, religion, from this day forth we will all be guided by the morals and principles of wisdom, compassion, kindness, by treating others as we would they treat us"
An open invite one and all, lets hear what you would say!

Monday, February 1, 2010

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963
US black civil rights leader & clergyman (1929 - 1968)